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Yungang Grottoes

Yungang Grottoes

Located in Datong City, Shanxi Province, Yungang Grottoes stretches nearly 1 kilometer from east to west along Wuzhou Mountain, 16 kilometers to the west of Datong. Based on the natural terrain of Wuzhou Mountain, it was divided into 3 areas of east, middle and west. Grottoes No.1 and No. 2 are located in the eastern area, inside which statues and sculptures have been severely damaged by exposure to the elements, but relief sculptures of Buddhist stories are still preserved on the lower part of the eastern wall.
Most of the grottoes are in the western area, and each has its own character. Grotto No. 20 houses the sitting statute of Sakyamuni, which is 13.7 meters high with majestic smile in his full and round face, and his ears that extend almost to the broad shoulders.

The whole grottoes look magnificent with solemn appearance, refined carvings and clear theme. As to its carving techniques, the grottoes come with unique styles by integrating the traditional sculpture techniques from Han Dynasty and the Gandhara art elements. Thus Yungang Grottoes serve as a significant spot for research on carving, construction, music as well as religion.

The grottoes are considered as one of three great grottoes in China along with Mogao Caves and Yungang Grottoes.